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Bid for more homes on old army camp near Huntington

Published date: 24 April 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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A BID has been made to scrap plans for a new school and industrial park from a huge housing development.

Developers now hope to build an extra 120 homeson the former Saighton Army Camp, near Huntington, on top of the 800 already granted permission.

Over the years the huge new estate has led to a great deal of opposition, with hundreds of local residents concerned the road network would not be able to cope with the growth in population.

Last August Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) gave permission for 295 homes on the former army barracks despite protests from campaigners who had major road safety concerns.

Residents argued the Caldy Valley junction – formerly known as the Sainsbury’s roundabout and now dubbed the ‘hamburger’ roundabout – was already dangerous and the extra houses would create further traffic chaos.

The improvements to the road layout were met with widespread criticism by Chester residents, claiming the new scheme was confusing and a danger to motorists.

A number of local businesses also claimed that traffic delays caused by the extensive improvement works hit them hard financially.

Before permission for the new homes was granted on appeal, Huntington, Great Boughton and Christleton Parish Councils alll objected to the plan on traffic grounds as did Chester MP Stephen Mosley.

But six committee members voted in favour with one against and one abstention.

Developers, Taylor Whimpey, have already built about 100 properties at the site, but are now looking to increase the number of homes built by asking for permission to build on a part of the old army camp which has been earmarked for light industry.

Over the years a number of calls have also been made to build a new slip road, directly onto the nearby A55, to ensure that minor roads in Huntington and Boughton did not become gridlocked with the extra traffic.

Applicants, GMV Eight, originally included a primary school and 5,000 square metres of employment land as part of its vision when it was granted permission, on appeal, for 375 homes on the site.

It now wants to replace the primary school and light industry land with 120 more homes saying there “remains an absence of any demand for employment” and that the school proposal “will not be implemented” due to an alternative location for the new Huntington primary school being preferred.

However ward councillor, Cllr Mark Williams, said the applicant had not provided any evidence that an industrial area was not needed.

He said: “I see from the application online that there is no substantiated evidence that there is not a need for a light industrial area on this site.

“I find this a substantive omission by the applicant as the light industrial area carried considerable weight at an earlier appeal – allowing area B (375 houses) to go ahead.

“Also, an application on the school site could be considered as some what premature.”

A condition of approval was that GMV Eight invested £4.6million in travel improvements including a revised Caldy Valley junction and public transport subsidies, gave £653,000 for improvements in schools, made 20 per cent of the dwellings affordable housing units and gave recreation land south of Sandy Lane to the council for a nominal fee.

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